Altera Demonstrates Industry's First Single-Chip 4K Format Conversion Reference Design at IBC2010

Furthers Leadership in Video Processing Applications

Sep 07, 2010, 03:00 ET from Altera

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Altera Corporation (Nasdaq: ALTR) today announced it will demonstrate the industry's first single-chip 4K, format conversion reference design with integrated serial digital interface (SDI) at IBC2010 in Hall 5, Booth A19, September 9 to 14, at the RAI Center in Amsterdam. Today's digital cinema and the next generation of Pro A/V applications, including digital signage, live events and video conferencing are driving the adoption of 4K resolution.

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Altera's 4K reference design includes the Video Design Framework that enables the fastest design cycle for video applications. This includes the Video and Image Processing (VIP) Suite with MegaCore® functions that facilitate the development of custom video and image processing designs. Also included is the hardware demonstration on a Stratix® IV GX A/V Kit for affordable 4K video capture, editing, playback, format conversion and projection solutions, the Nios® II embedded processor, a multi-port front-end DDR3 memory controller and the integrated SDI. This combined functionality of the broadcast-quality 4K reference design accelerates customer time to market by combining an optimized video design tool flow to support 4K resolution and 3D processing.

4K resolution is rapidly becoming the next major enhancement in video because of the benefits in picture clarity and realism. Many leading projector, broadcast and camera OEMs are either shipping systems today or will by the end of this year. Altera enables this next generation of applications by reducing the overall system chip count, which lowers the overall bill of materials costs of the end product, as well as lowering the cost of development and simplifying board design. Previous systems required as many as nine off-the-shelf chips to perform 4K format conversion (four 1080p format conversion chips and five chips for SDI input and output). Using Altera's 4K format conversion reference design based on a single Stratix IV EP4SGX230 FPGA, these functions can be easily integrated with ample headroom remaining to incorporate other video I/Os such as DisplayPort and video compression (encoding/decoding) processing. Christie/Vista Systems is an early adopter of this technology.

"When designing our Spyder X20 video processor, which has the capabilities of handling up to dual 4K displays or a single 3D 4K display, we required a significant amount of bandwidth to move that many pixels through the system uncompressed and with minimal delay," said John Motter, senior design engineer at Vista Systems and hardware systems architect for the X20 product. "After an extensive evaluation of the major FPGA vendors, we determined that only Altera's superior transceivers, field-proven IP and fast compile times would meet our demanding design requirements. Our partnership with Altera has enabled us to continue our leadership position in providing the most powerful, flexible and easy-to-use processing systems."

"Altera has a leadership position in market adoption for 2K and 4K digital cinema as well as video IP," said Arun Iyengar, senior director of Altera's broadcast and communications business units at Altera. "By offering 4K video processing IP running on a high-performance hardware platform, this reference design provides the flexibility to meet the design requirement for these new 4K systems."

Additional Altera demonstrations at IBC2010 will include:

  • A/V development kits packaged with the VIP Suite
  • Reference designs for getting started with 3G SDI, DisplayPort, PCI Express® (PCIe®) A/V streaming, audio rate conversion and audio embedding/encoding
  • A 28-nm Stratix V FPGA test chip
  • 4K scaler and UDX 4.2 video solutions demo


The 4K format conversion reference design will available to customers in the fourth quarter of this year. The Stratix IV GX A/V Kit is available now.

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